One of the first instances of product placement in this film happens in one of the most memorable scenes, despite this it is often overlooked. Wayne and Garth, along with their friends, are driving when the now classic song, “Bohemian Rhapsody” begins to play. The characters mouth the lyrics and overzealously dance to the song. Today everyone over the age of twelve knows the lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and in part that is due to Wayne’s World. David Peisner of Rolling Stone Magazine believes that Wayne’s World, “…gave the song and the band behind it an unprecedented second life”. This Queen hit was not one of the most popular songs during its time, only barely reaching top ten in the US, but this movie propelled it to number two despite being filmed years after its release. Music is product placement. A song being in a movie can introduce it to a new generation or a new fanbase. While, “Bohemian Rhapsody” greatly benefited from being in the film the band did not reach out to the movie. Instead one of the producers of Wayne’s World, Mike Meyers, remembered the song from his childhood when visiting the UK and threatened to leave the production if it was not in the film. This scene elicits pathos in others that relate it to a childhood memory like Meyers. This song also sets the tone for the perfectly quirky film and helped establish ethos due to the big name band that recorded it.
Wayne’s World however, benefited even more greatly from these partnerships. “Bohemian Rhapsody” changed a forgettable scene of characters driving to one of the best scenes in the film. Without the scenes mocking product placement the film wold have easily been forgotten about like other SNL spin offs, such as 1999’s Superstar. Wayne’s World achieved a cult like following because of the two scenes mentioned above which use product placement for the biggest laughs in the film. The products featured in the film are big name bands and brands, they give Wayne’s World an authenticity and real world quality that makes it unforgettable.
I give the film 5/5 Garths because the product placement made the movie. The product placement was obvious, but it was intended to be that way.